Despite the monumental growth of the cryptocurrency market, not all jurisdictions are keen on accepting this emerging industry, especially due to the various illicit activities associated with it. Lawmakers in Ireland seem to be concerned about this and have recently proposed new regulations that require cryptocurrency entities to register with the central bank and institute anti-money laundering (AML) laws to prevent anonymous trading.
According to reports, regulators in Ireland are looking to crack down on anonymous crypto trading. The proposed anti-money laundering (AML) policies are targeted at Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), a broad group of cryptocurrency entities that include exchanges, and require them to comply starting next month.
These crypto entities will be required to register with the nation’s central bank for both AML and counter financing of terrorism for the first time. Per the central bank’s directives, businesses will now have to keep track of the origin and destination of client assets in line with anti-money laundering rules that apply to other financial services providers.
The new rules will provide the Central Bank power to block senior appointments at the firms or to take enforcement action for failure to live up to AML or CFT laws. The regulations follow the latest European Union AML Directive.
In plans for a year?
The proposed regulations follow a discussion that took place last year. The Irish government had hinted that it was set to tighten its AML and CFT policies. However, Ireland’s stance can’t be considered all bad for the industry. Some Analysts have estimated that Brexit could make the nation a hub for fintech innovation, with Managing Director of ConsenSys Ireland, Lory Kehoe, stating that Ireland is “at a turning point.”
Ireland isn’t the only nation that has tried to take a stab at crypto anonymity. Last year, several ministries of France unanimously introduced a fresh order that looks to prevent anonymous digital asset transactions by putting a ban on anonymous crypto accounts.
Meanwhile, India is considering an outright ban on crypto-assets and criminalizing mining and other related activities. Fresh reports have emerged that regulators are looking to provide a six-month window for crypto holders to liquidate their assets, following which the possession of these assets would be a criminal offense.